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Medicine a catalyst for Belt and Road

Lei Xiaoxun
Updated: Jun 20,2017 7:13 AM     China Daily

Top Chinese officials and health ministers from Central and Eastern European countries pledged in Budapest on June 19 to give substance to the China-CEEC partnership, especially in healthcare.

The Budapest Declaration announced on June 19 will not only serve as an anchor document to guide future implementation of their medical cooperation strategy, but also become another catalyst for the Belt and Road Initiative, officials said.

The officials were attending the Third CEEC-China Health Ministers’ Meeting, which began on June 18 and ends on 20. Officials from Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Lithuania, Montenegro and other regional nations attended.

Medical cooperation, they said, has progressed greatly since China and Hungary upgraded their bilateral partnership to a comprehensive strategic one in May during the meeting between President Xi Jinping and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong called such progress beneficial for the people of China and the CEEC.

Liu, together with CEEC health ministers and UNICEF officials, witnessed the signing of a group of healthcare and medical documents between China and the CEEC.

Other achievements include the establishment of the China-CEEC Human Resources for Health Cooperation Network, the China-CEEC Hospital Alliance official website and the China-CEEC Health Policy Research Network.

The ministers also signed memorandums of understanding and agreements for specific public health related programs in the municipality of Beijing and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The Health Economy Trade Exhibition also started in Budapest to promote health innovation cooperation and build a platform for health industries in China and the CEEC.

“The CEEC-China Health Ministers’ Meeting was established to contribute to the exchange of knowledge between the participating counties, between decision-makers and experts alike,” said Zoltan Balog, Hungarian minister of human resources. “We are convinced that the 21st century will only be successful if we are able to take advantage of the opportunities for global and local cooperation.”

Li Bin, minister of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, said the meeting further implements the Riga Guidelines for Cooperation between China and CEEC, adopted in November in Riga, Latvia, during the Fifth Summit of China and the CEEC.

Liu proposed the further dovetailing of health policies between China and the CEEC to cultivate more people-oriented programs, more cross-border communication of health-related information, greater people-to-people communication and talent training, enhanced cooperation and health technology innovation and accelerated synergy between traditional medicine and modern medicine.